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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday Night Lights - On the Outside Looking in recap/review

We have ignored Friday Night Lights for too long on this blog. It’s been over two weeks since the premiere of its final season, and we haven’t mentioned it. Blame school. It’s keeping us busy. We are obsessed with this show. Ern doesn’t care about any sport, ever, but she cares about the football teams on FNL. Who cares if the Dolphins (or whoever) suck, as long as Coach Taylor’s team wins? If the world made any sense, this show would be more popular than it is and would not have to end. We don’t think enough people have actually seen it or more people would love it. The show is set in high schools, so it could have gone on forever.

Tim Riggins is still in jail and his brother is still looking out for Becky. Can we start a petition to get Tim Riggins to cut his Jesus hair? It’s getting a little too long for us.

Vince got permission from Jess to get his own rally girl (since Jess doesn’t want to be one), and the rally girl threw herself at Vince and threatened Jess. She and Jess got in a little smackdown in the bathroom and ended up in Tami’s office. The actress who plays Jess, Jurnee Smollett, is rocking two shows this fall season: FNL and The Defenders. Yes, she plays a high school student and a lawyer. Oh TV, with your requirements that most girls look between 23 and 29, no matter how old the character they are play is. Vince also got a few letters from good colleges that are interested in his athletic abilities. We teared up when Vince showed his mother the letters, asking her where she wanted to live.

Tami and Coach Taylor were adorable together this episode, flirting, joking, and having each other’s backs. Julie Taylor, who we have hated since season two when she dumped Matt Saracen for no reason, went off to college and was flirting with a TA. Meh.

One of Tami’s students, Epyck (which is not a real name), skipped class, lolled around smoking, is apparently a foster kid, and is trying to get out of an appointment to see Tami. Tami will save her in the end, because she is a caring guidance counselor, and not one at home wants to see Tami have it too hard in her new job. It was bad enough to watch the end of last year. Tami had trouble bonding with the other teachers at her new school and getting them to help her tutor the students after class. Dear Tami, 9/10 teachers are complete morons who stayed in school because they are on power trips and want to lord knowledge over the weak and fragile. They can’t make it in the real world, they are bullies, and they have cliques. 1/10 teachers are great, humble people who actually care. Tami found her 1/10 (sort of). She finally made an ally in one teacher, Laurel, after going to the teachers’ happy hour. But Laurel is only nice to Tami when she isn’t around her peers … Sounds like a typical teacher who never left high school to us.

Meanwhile, in football, Coach Taylor’s team gets set for a game, but the powers that be are discriminating against them. They are poorer and less favored, so although they beat a top team, they were not ranked. Also, Luke got suspended for a game. Unfair, but probably realistic.
So that's what happened. It was a typical, perfectly good, and realistic episode of FNL. We hope the gritty football show goes out as strong as it was in its first and fourth seasons.

Episode grade: B+

Hawaii Five-O: Our take after seven episodes.

This is one of the only new shows this blog has ignored, and it is time for us to weigh in on it. It’s a show about an elite crime-fighting task force created by Hawaii’s governor (played by Jean Smart, who we love from 24 and Samantha Who?). The show has a lot of references to the original, like the catchphrase “Book ‘em, Danno” and the theme song. But we think the show is superior to the original, because it is slicker and, obviously, more modern.

It’s actually not bad. In fact, it has the sort of action tone Nikita is trying for (but instead, Nikita’s cases are mostly boring). This is your standard action/cop procedural with all the fun of Hawaii thrown in. Grace Park, as the show’s hot girl, is inoffensive, pretty, and fun. She has a lot to do, and it’s sort of believable, for once. The bad guys almost always turn out to be terrorists. Who knew that was such a problem in Hawaii? There are lots of portly native Hawaiians, shady characters, chases, and hot guys. What more do you want? And oh yeah, the cases are pretty interesting usually and the episodes move fast, pacing-wise (with the possible exception of the pilot).

We like Danno, who always calls out the main character, Steve, for illegally torturing or scaring criminals, even if he doesn’t do much about it except yell. It’s nice to have a character point out that you aren’t supposed to do that, as a cop. Daniel Dae Kim is great, and we love seeing him get steady work after LOST. What the show needs now is an overarching plot arc to connect episodes and keep us coming back. Each episode has been pretty stand-alone, which makes it easy for occasional TV watchers to miss a few episodes. It’s been very entertaining so far for a show that is lacking a big love story or central flirtatious couple. Each episode, by itself, is entertaining and easy to follow, with lots of jokes and action.

The bottom line for Hawaii Five-O: We're pretty sure that this won't end up being your all-time favorite show. It’s not a must-see that you yearn for between episodes. But once it’s on and you are ten minutes into the episode, it’s a must-finish. No need to catch up. If you like action procedurals, just jump in next Monday, because this one is just fun. It's like if Nikita and Chase had a baby, raised it in Hawaii, and it turned out much better than its parents.

Show Grade So Far: B

Modern Family Halloween

If you don't watch Modern Family or never gave it chance, please, for the love of God, watch the Halloween episode. It trounced The Office Halloween episode, nasty. One of the bloggers thought that the Community Halloween episode was the funniest, so catch that if you can. You can also find that one on Hulu for a while.

Friday, November 5, 2010

America's Next Top Model - Margherita Missoni recap/review

The girls were pranked by Tyra when they were taken to a bridge and told they had to dive off of it and swim, and that was how the judges were going to get a photo. Of course, Ann can’t swim, so she wigged a little. Sadly, we didn’t get to see her try. Tyra floated under them in a gondola and announced via theatrics and a diva monologue that the girls were going to Venice, Italy. LUCKY. We are even more over Ann than usual, because we found out that she is from Texas. She is from TEXAS, and she has no personality? We don’t know if our readers have ever spent a lot of time in most of Texas, but the people there are loud, proud, friendly, and laugh a lot. We guess we shouldn’t stereotype, but we have never seen a Texan like Ann. Her performances have started to deteriorate, so we think we are seeing the slow end of Ann as a fierce competitor. We liked her at first, but now she’s just boring and sad. We KNOW that we shouldn’t hate on people because of their personalities, but this is reality TV, so we are allowed to.

In Italy, a bird pooped on Liz and Jane. Red flags went up as we heard Liz whine. If the show was airing it, it must be important. It must mean Liz is going home. In this episode, we got a total of six complaints from Liz, and that is counting a complaint montage as one complaint. At this point, we were starting to come around to the opinion that Liz has a stank personality. She has been warned and warned about this, so we didn’t feel bad at all. You know who we love lately? Chris. She was overpowering and a little bit of a jerk at first, but she’s fantastic now that she has calmed down.

The girls had a period photo shoot modeled after the Casanova story. They put three girls in a gondola with a hot Italian guy and took pictures. The ladies were supposed to like as if they were pining over him. The weather was warm, so the corsets, coned bras, big skirts, and high necks were uncomfortable. You could see Liz’s complaints coming a mile away. Ann was awkward and scared in the shoot, but of course she looked decent in the photo anyway and was not in the bottom two.

Then, the show moved the girls to Milan, where they met Missoni and her daughter/heir, Margherita. The girls were dressed in winter wear to walk in during panel. Remember that it’s hot in Italy. Chelsey almost passed out at judging. We thought Tyra’s dress was way too small for her at panel. And why does she always get an English accent when she introduces Nigel? The judges raved over a duck-faced shot of Chelsey, that looked just ok to us. Kayla had the best photo, even though she had no chemistry with the male model. Chris and Liz were in the bottom two, and we knew who was going home. How do we know? When the show refocuses on the home life of one of the models when there is really no time for it and spends lots of time filming her faults and feelings, she is going home. This show is getting too predictable. There was no way they were going to ditch fun Chris just for looking like she was afraid of a giant crow in her picture. Especially after the bird pooping incident early in the episode. Liz definitely had the worst, skankiest photo. This season has been less whorish than other seasons, because the focus is on high fashion. High fashion is about looking thin and rich, not about looking sexy. Liz was too pretty for high fashion anyway. We wish Liz luck. No, we wish her family luck, because they are the ones who are probably still hearing Liz complain about losing the competition.

Episode grade: B

The Office - The Christening recap/review

Jim and Pam’s baby, Cece, was all set to be christened at a nice, formal, and small church gathering with an intimate reception. This being The Office, that all went wrong. Jim and Pam tried to keep it small, but Michael invited the entire office. Michael felt shut out, because Jim and Pam wouldn’t let him sit in the family section or be Cece’s godfather. Who cares, Michael? Her name is Cece. That means she is already lame. That’s not a great baby name for 2010. Anyway, Jim ruined Cece’s christening gown while changing her, so she had to be baptized in an Arcade Fire shirt. We kind of like that. That should be a thing. You should baptize your baby in a large shirt with the name of the rock band of your choice on it.

The reception didn’t go well for the Halperts either, because the pastor invited the entire congregation, and there wasn’t enough food. Jim left his baby with a senile old lady, who lost her. Jim lost it and blamed Angela, thinking she stole the baby out of jealousy. That was pretty funny.

Michael really liked church (which is funny, because his nemesis, Toby, had trouble even going into the building). The people were friendly, and accepting, and they did stuff together. We are surprised Michael didn’t get involved with organized religion before this. In a lot of ways, that community is perfect for him. Because most religions like you to be nice to people, they would have to be polite and happy to Michael’s face, and he would never pick up the subtle hints that he is disliked, so he would never be hurt. Impressed with the church’s idealism and togetherness, Michael (with Andy, who still wants to show off for Erin), hopped on a bus to go to a youth mission trip in Mexico. About an hour into the trip, Michael and Andy realized the impromptu mission trip was a mistake that could affect their jobs and personal lives, so they made the driver stop the bus. One of the mission trip kids got off with them (“Don’t tell my parents.”) Erin came to drive them home, and poor Andy didn’t get shotgun next to her.

We didn’t like this episode. Sometimes we think The Office is only still on to take up airtime. Why are you bad now, show? A few episodes this season have been solid, but none have been both funny and memorable. Jim and Pam seem judgmental, prudish, dorky, boring, and stodgy lately. What’s up with that? This show is dying a slow and painful, hum-drum death. It isn't awful, but it sure isn't good anymore.

Episode Grade: C-

The Vampire Diaries- The Rose recap/review

Because last week’s recap was such a monster, we want to keep this one as brief as possible to make up for it. But is it possible to have a quick Vampire Diaries recap? Not really, because this show is so freaking eventful.

The man who kidnapped Elena was an enthralled minion of a vampire named Trevor, and he just ended up dying. Trevor has been traveling with his 500-year-old best friend Rose for centuries, fleeing “The Originals,” some very old and supposedly scary vamps. Rose and Tyler were holed up in a dilapidated, old house and Elena was brought there. Elena is what is called a “Petrova Doppelganger,” and it was revealed that if you sacrifice a doppelganger, you break the curse of the sun and the moon. Rose and Trevor tried to trade Elena to one of The Originals, Elijah, in exchange for him forgiving them for a past wrong. Elijah didn't strike us as that scary. He looked like an accountant. But maybe he gets scarier. Elijah took Elena’s vervain necklace so that he could compel her into giving him information about the location of Katherine and the moonstone. Elijah killed Trevor by swiping his head off. Awesome.

Damon ordered Caroline not to tell Tyler that she is a vampire, because Damon feared Tyler’s future vampire-killing werewolf bite. Caroline disobeyed when Tyler pushed her into telling him what she knew. Tyler was grateful for her honesty, and they embraced and bonded and all that good stuff. We think it was smart of Caroline to try to get Tyler’s allegiance before someone else does, rather than leave him all alone with his plight. Of course, his allegiance to the vampires will be tested if he finds out what really happened to Uncle Mason. Maybe it’s because Tyler is more sympathetic now, but we swear he’s gotten hotter. We shouldn’t be surprised; everyone on this show is hot.

Bonnie and Jeremy bonded more in this episode too. Bonnie used her witchcraft to help locate Elena and get her a message that Stefan and Damon were coming. Bonnie confessed to Jeremy that using power has a price. If you push the power too much, it pushes back. This manifested itself in knocking Bonnie out and giving her a bloody nose. The brothers rescued Elena and staked Elijah, but in an ending plot twist, Elijah removed the stake from his body hours later. This guy is going to be hard to kill. During the altercation, Damon was able to get Elena’s necklace back. After the brothers returned Elena back to her home, Damon snuck in and told Elena that he loves her but does not deserve her. Apparently he just needed to get that off his chest. He compelled her to forget what he said, disappeared, and left her with the necklace. This should have made us squeal girlishly, but it didn't. We already knew that Damon loved Elena. It was no shocker. It was nice to see his unselfish side as he put his brother and Elena before his own desires.

This one seemed a little “action flick formulaic” to be an A episode. Plus, it was slow in the middle. But with a show this good, we won’t complain much.

Episode grade- B+

Grey's Anatomy - That's Me Trying recap/review

Why did we include a picture of the HPV Tree Guy? To gross you out and remind you it existed, of course. HA.

Ern and Leeard like their little jokes/to mess with people.

So many people think this season of Grey's Anatomy isn’t dramatic enough, but we like the low-key, season one-vibe episodes. The show is semi-realistic again, the characters aren’t annoying, and the humor is back. We aren’t spending too much of the season getting rid of characters either. After the finale and laughable plotlines of the last couple of seasons, it's time for this show to calm down and get respectable again. This episode was on par with the rest of this perfectly decent season. Entertaining, but not mind-blowing and too dramatic.

Mark and Lexie: A patient, tired of only gaining weight in her upper arms (we hear you, sister), came to the plastics department to get very large butt implants. It was great to see Mark and Lexie flirting, working together, and getting out some of their issues. We liked this patient and the way she told Lexie that she was getting the surgery only for herself.

Callie and Arizona: It turns out Callie didn’t really want to go with Arizona to Africa, so she bummed around, acting morose about it, and Mark called her out on doing something that wasn’t good for her for her girlfriend. At the airport, Arizona burst out that Callie was ruining Africa for her, and that she didn’t want Callie to come. Callie said that if Arizona got on the plane alone, they would be over, and Arizona left. DON’T FREAK OUT. Arizona is not off the show. She will be back. The actress is simply on maternity leave.

Owen, Jackson, April, and Alex: Owen, in typical Owen fashion, created another crazy training program for his underlings (remember the pigs from season five?). He set up a trauma routine with dozens of dummies in the parking lot. They were all supposed to be dying, and Owen put many young doctors into teams and had them try to save the dummies. It started to rain, Owen kept making it harder, the fake patients were dying, and it took a long time for anyone to win the contest and pass Owen’s test. Jackson walked out and April started creating her own rules to make the situation better for the doctors. April went a little crazy, commandeered an ambulance, screamed incoherently, and “saved” her one patient. We guess being crazy is what it takes to be a good trauma surgeon at Seattle Grace, because Owen was impressed with April’s trauma potential. Then Owen went to Jackson, chewed him out for making the “my friends died excuse” when all Owen’s friends died in the war (we guess THAT’S why he had to ask McDreamy to be his best man), and Jackson went back to complete Owen’s crazy training. Way to put a million bucks to good use, Hunt. While this entire thing made almost no sense, we liked it, because it was funny. We especially liked April ripping Alex’s rain-protection off of him and putting it on her dummy.

Bailey and Derek, the sad sacks of the week: Bailey moped around doing Mary’s autopsy, which came up inconclusive. Derek moped around trying to write a grant proposal for Alzheimer’s studies. He failed, because he was too worried about Meredith to get any work done. He had to tell his wife that she couldn’t be a part of the trial, because his worry for her would get in the way of the work.

Cristina and Meredith: The Meredith/Cristina friendship is on the rocks, because Cristina broke down and told Meredith that she blames Meredith for her mental breakdown. Cristina said that if it were anyone else’s husband on the table on the day of the shooting, she would have walked away. She also resents Meredith for facing a lot of the same pressures Cristina faced that day and coming out of it fine, while Cristina is ruined. Cristina managed to keep a patient alive this episode and was commended for it by Teddy. But, at the end, Cristina went to the chief and quit her job. Yikes.

It took a while for us to warm up to the Pathetic Cristina storyline, and we certainly railed against it in the beginning. But give us a break, it started out lame and took out one of our favorite characters. But since then, we’ve discovered that Cristina’s crisis as a surgeon is long overdue for the character, realistic, interesting, and well-written. It also gives Sandra Oh a good acting opportunity that doesn’t involve romance. As long as Cristina comes back strong as a surgeon in an awesome way, we are behind this storyline. It is the one in which we are the most emotionally invested at the moment.

Episode grade: Somewhere between a B and a B+

Checking in on South Park - Season 14, Episodes 11-12

These episodes only make sense if you saw an earlier South Park episode called “The Coon,” which is Eric Cartmans “superhero” alter ego. The Coon is pretty useless and kind of evil, yet hilarious. Like the real Cartman. The other superhero mentioned in that episode was M ysterion, a kid who is actually good at being a superhero, talks in a growly voice like Christian Bale’s Batman, and resembles just about every kid on the show. His identity was not revealed, which was disappointing.

But in episode 12 of this season (“Mysterion Rises,” a play on the name of the upcoming Chris Nolan Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”), Mysterion turned out to be…Kenny! Wow, we finally got to hear the kid talk.

Episodes 11 (The Coon 2: Hindsight) and 12 were back-to-back episodes that told one story. The gist is this: BP caused the oil spill and then it caused rifts in the dimensional barriers. Monsters from other dimensions started cropping up. There was an ex-reporter superhero called Captain Hindsight who flew around telling everyone what they did wrong after the bad incidents occurred, which is pretty much what everyone did after the BP oil spill.

The Coon had recruited other kids for a team of superheroes called “Coon and Friends”. This included Mysterion (whose secret power is that he can never die), Iron Maiden (Timmy), Toolshed (Stan), Mosquito (Clyde), TupperWare (Token, whose last name is “Black,” by the way, haha), Human Kite (Kyle), and Mintberry Crunch (Bradley). Of course, The Coon ticked the group off, and they kicked him out but kept the name to anger Cartman. The Coon joined forces with an evil other-dimensional creature named Cthulhu.

We thought episode 11 (The Coon: Hindsight) was pretty average. We liked the shrimp guy (if you listened closely, you can understand what he is saying), and we also liked how the episode criticized people who judge others’ past acts with the benefit of hindsight without adding any real help to tragic situations. We also liked the very end where The Coon leapt from his window crying, “A**holes!” We watched these episodes on the internet (we always do, because we want the uncensored versions), and we hope this moment was not ruined for live viewers.

Episode 12 was superior because of the Kenny revelations. Also, there were more funny moments. We’ve never appreciated Kenny this much before now. This character just existed to laugh at when he died and to laugh at when he said really dirty things that we couldn’t fully understand. But poor, undying Kenny is actually a top-notch crime fighter with the ability to scare his parents into being better people? We like it. We also liked the re-introduction of the superheroes via monologues and comic pages. We enjoyed how South Park called Captain Hindsight “The hero of the modern age,” and the way Cartman used Cthulhu to fight the things Cartman finds evil (hippies, Jews, and San Francisco, naturally). We are also glad the show is back to recognizing that it once used to kill Kenny every episode.

A few references and things we caught regarding these episodes:-BP renamed itself to DP following the oil crisis on the show. If you didn’t get that, we can help you. DP stands for “double penetration” and refers to a sexual act. If you don’t know what that is, we can’t help you.
-According to a nerdy Web site (and one of the bloggers), the monsters from the dimensional tear and a few other things are references to stuff by the science fiction author H.P. Lovecraft.
-Showing the killer whale and Tom Cruise dead on the moon is a reference to earlier South Park episodes that only people who are completely obsessed with South Park would remember.
This show is definitely playing toward its longtime fans in these episodes.
We are sure that there are more references (the song playing while Cartman rode Cthulhu is tickling our brains), but we don’t know what they are, so holler if you do.

The Coon and Friends would make great Halloween costumes for next year. This blogger wants to be Mintberry Crunch.

Episode grades:
11: C
12: B-

Bones - The Bones that Weren't recap / review

Bones returned Thursday after a half-month hiatus. What’s up with that? (Answer: Baseball. Duh) Also: Look show, this Hannah thing was a nice little gimmick to pull us back for a new season and make us crazy, but it’s time for it to stop. Kill her. Kill her dead. We won’t be satisfied with some lame breakup. We want her Gormagon-ed or sniped or something. The beginning of this episode gave us full-on shots of Booth kissing Hannah goodbye, and we nearly lost our lunch. We know they are together, but do we really have to see it? It was grosser than that HPV/tree guy on Grey’s Anatomy. We just don’t see how she adds to the show. Brennan already has a best friend in Angela. If this is going to be the characters’ main interpersonal arc, it had better pay off.

The case of the week: A skateboarder found a skull buried in cement, yelled, and ran away. Ok, what’s with the running away from a skull? Most people would scope it out a little or just back away. It’s a SKULL. The murderer is long gone. Seriously. We understand when it’s an episode of Bones where the body is covered in decomposing flesh. Yeah, then you can scream and run away. But most people would think the skull was fake or prehistoric or something. They might call the cops, but run away screaming? Naw. Not unless they were sissies. Wait. He was a skateboarder. Never mind.

The victim’s skeleton had mostly decomposed due to some bone-eating fungus, but the gang was able to find a tattoo of a dancer on one of his teeth. Angela also reconstructed what the skeleton should have looked like if it were a full one, and Vasiri ascertained that the victim was a ballet dancer. Yeah, Mr. Vaziri has returned to the lab. Is it just me, or is that guy seriously hot? Lab assistants don’t look like that, but we aren’t complaining too hard about this show’s lack of realism in this department. Booth and Brennan located the guy’s old ballet studio based on these two pieces of information. The ballet studio’s instructor was a cute little female dancer who walked with a crutch because the victim had dropped her during a life, ruining her career. She was hilarious and full of rage, glad the victim was dead, and tried to attack Brennan for calling her heavy (for a ballerina of course). Because Booth suspected her right away, we knew she wasn’t the murdered. The Bones formula: Everyone under suspicion in the first 30 minutes of a Bones episode is innocent. The person they talk to, see, or notice who doesn’t fall under suspicion or get much screen time is the person who did it. If you didn’t know, now you know.

Hodgins found bronze in the victim’s body and found out where the bone-eating fungus was located: Kalorama Park. This was a place with a plethora of street performers. Magicians, singers, musicians, dancers, Shakespeare impersonators, and pickpockets. Except for the pickpockets, this blogger wishes she had a park in her area with a bunch of weird hippies performing. It sounds like a nice day at the park. Get a hot dog, watch the hippies. Nice. At the park, Booth suspected a rival dancer (TWITCH!), clearly missing the blonde hippie girl with the guitar. This is when we thought, “Ahh, it’s her.” Then they found evidence that the victim was stabbed with a sharpened screwdriver, and the gang also found a handprint that pointed to a female. Booth watch the body language of the two female suspects (Angry Dancer and Hippie), and he realized that it was the hippie. The hippie and the victim were robbing people in the park and the victim was about to betray the hippie, so she killed him. Case solved. Maybe this blogger doesn’t want a park full of street performers. In the words of the great sage Eric Cartman: Hippies. They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.

Hannah was investigating a dirty cop for a story and got shot in the leg, presumably by the dirty cop or one of his accomplices. Brennan figured out that although Hannah’s leg wound looked harmless, without surgery it could sever her femoral artery and kill her. Of course, Brennan informed Hannah and the doctors, saving Hannah’s life. Sigh. Stupid Brennan, knowing and catching everything.

This episode had a sweet tone, and we liked watching the rival dancer get down in the street. We just love watching people dance (which is why we'll be covering So You Think You Can Dance when it returns). We liked Brennan's fascination over him too. This was a forgettable, but enjoyable episode of Bones.

Episode grade: B-

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Back Nine Order for Undercovers

NBC's Undercovers, the show about two married hot people who are also spies, has failed to get a back nine order. This is unsurprising, considering how boring the show is. In its defense, it was starting to get decent. This does not bode well for the JJ Abrams drama, and we are not sad. The show was disappointing and deserves to get nixed.

Demi Lovato Checks Into Rehab, We Groan

The big news in stupid teen gossip this week is that 18-year-old Demi Lovato checked into rehab for “emotional and physical issues.” She is on TV, so we are going to comment. Rumors (that this blogger previously refused to believe, but the other blogger insisted were true) circulated that Demi was a cutter. She has admitted that she was bullied and hated by her peers. We want to punch these peers in their nasty faces, seriously. Demi is adorable and talented. She is the only one of those Disney Channel twits who can actually sing. ANGST. We wish her luck and hope she gets better. It was smart of her to drop out of the tour and seek help and relief from the pressures of fame without being ordered to do so after legal trouble like most young stars.

Because of the gay suicides, there has been a lot of publicity and celebrity outreach regarding bullying, so you are probably sick of hearing about it. But we are going to add our own spiel to it. One of us bullied a girl in middle school. One of the things she did was throw cheese at the girl, because a recurring theme in the bullying was that the girl "looked like a rat." She even drew a picture of a half-rat, half-girl having…uh….relations with a piece of cheese. Sure, it was really funny, especially when that girl got upset, but years later, it actually haunts this blogger. She’s not on facebook, and that’s not a good sign (because EVERYONE is on facebook). What happened to that girl? It's no excuse that this blogger was 13; she knew better, and it feels gross now. Adults and college kids can bully too, and while it gives you a temporary high and a little entertainment and cool factor, it’s just not worth it in the long run.

You don’t want to be the person who drove someone to hurt themselves. You don’t want that to be your contribution to the world. Even if someone doesn’t seem that fragile, even if they are mean too, or even if what you did “was not that bad,” you don’t know what kind of affect it can have on them.

And if you are being bullied, know that the “It Gets Better” campaign is called that for a reason. The rules for fitting in are different for adults, and you will actually find your niche and good friends one day. You will learn to love your personality and work it for what it is. It does get better, and that is the truth for just about everyone, no matter how hopeless they feel.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our Favorite Plots and Plots Twists On Some of Our Favorite Shows-- inspired by hatts' comment

SPOILER ALERT- We are about to give a lot of really good plot points away, so blur your eyes and move on if you haven’t seen most of these shows. We made a post complaining about bad plots on good shows, so it's only fair that we do a positive post to counteract it.

24, The end of first season - If you haven’t seen it, we aren’t even going to risk blowing it for you. Stephen King’s entertainment column blew it for Ern, and it took her a long time to forgive him for that. It helped that he’s awesome. Anyway, the one-two punch of the plot twists at the end of this show’s first season made everyone sit up and notice that this was a show that wasn’t afraid to do anything to its characters to shock and tell a good story. Honorable mention: Season five. Yes, the whole season.

LOST, the first flash forward - They have to go BACK? What?!?! They got off? No freakin way. One of us is still freaked out about this. The other blogger was spoiled. GER. Honorable mention: Ben talks Locke down from killing himself and then, once Locke says the wrong thing, strangles him. We were all touched that Ben talked his old enemy out of giving into despair when, suddenly, Ben murders him. Tell us you weren’t holding your breath during that entire, amazing scene. LOST had plenty of amazing twists (Locke’s in a wheelchair, the others aren’t savages, etc), but this one scarred us for life.

Arrested Development, Buster gets his hand bitten off by a seal - This one paid off in humorous spades. It was foreshadowed for at least half a season, and we will always chuckle when we think of Buster screaming, “I’M A MONSTER!!!!” It was one of the weirdest, best plots in Arrested Development history. Honorable mention: The Maebe/George Michael love, especially at the end of season two where they kissed and the floor caved in under them.

Sex and the City, The Big/Carrie affair - We were amazed at how this show handled adultery without making us hate Carrie for having the affair. It helped that she was super remorseful about it through the entire arc. The affair was exciting, we were heartbroken for Aiden (bonus points for bringing him back), and it ended without any Taylor Swift-esque romanticism or unrealistic TV fantasy. Honorable mention for this show: The entire Steve/Miranda arc. Also, Smith taking Samantha back after she slept with Richard and her final appreciation of Smith’s big-heartedness and maturity. The way the show had the four characters grow up and embrace parts of themselves that they had previously rejected was excellent.

Scrubs, The Dr. Cox/JD relationship - Turk and JD were hilarious, but Dr. Cox and J.D. were funny AND poignant. You know you were rooting for JD to finally get that hug. Dr. Cox’s love of JD and reluctance to get close him kept us crawling back to Scrubs for more of their great dynamic.

In Treatment, Paul does not sleep with Laura - So many people loved the Laura storyline, because she was hot and in love with her therapist. We found his struggle to resist her to be tiring, and the only thing we like about this plot arc is that he did not sleep with her in the end. We are also glad that the therapist in love with the patient thing is over and done for this show. Now we can get to interesting patients like Sophie, Walter, April, and Oliver, which are this blogger’s personal favorite patients. Once a patient on this show gets under your skin, their episodes become an addiction. You can just watch these four and get a nice experience with this show. Speaking of this show, it’s back on now, and we are watching. It’s fantastic because it keeps you glued to the screen just through two (usually) good actors talking to each other for 22 minutes.

Friends, Monica and Chandler hook up at Ross’ failed wedding and start a relationship - Did you scream back in the ‘90s when Chandler and Monica popped up in the same bed the morning of Ross’ wedding? We did. That relationship kept life in the show long after it started being more soapy than funny. “The One Where Everybody Finds Out (about the relationship),” was one of the funniest Friends episodes.

Gilmore Girls, Rory doesn’t marry Logan at the end - If she wasn’t going to be with Jess at the end (we know, we know, most of you disagree with us in our Jess love), we were glad that the show left her life open-ended and didn’t have her be “the little woman” to a rich, hot guy. The way Rory’s life journey was just beginning was a nice thing on which to end the series. Lorelai, on the other hand, had closed many chapters of her life, ended up with the right guy (at the very, very end), and was in a stable career that she loved, which is how we wanted to leave our flighty, high-spirited heroine. Honorable mention: Anything with Kurt.

Alias, Sydney and Co. bring down SD-6 in the middle of season two - Way to not drag out a plot, show. We love when that happens. When the SD-6 thing was dragging, the show knew how to shake things up by freeing the characters from their double-agent statuses and moving on to other fish. Honorable mention: The pilot of this show is one of our favorites.

Dexter, The Trinity arc - DUH

Gossip Girl, season two Chuck and Blair - Chuck and Blair falling for and eventually committing to each other was the high point of this show for us, by far.

Glee, Sue trying to take Will down - Let’s face it: plots are not Glee’s strong suit, especially this season. We like the songs, the messages of inclusiveness, the tone, the individual characters, and the jokes. But one thing the plotters got right is having the enemy of the arts NOT be just some parent who doesn’t understand/wants his son to play sports. That is tired, and it was already done on High School Musical. Having the bad guy consciously, evilly attempt to sabotage the rival group was pure genius. Honorable mentions - Puckleberry. Bring that back, show. Also, Tina's goth look. Maybe this doesn't qualify as a plot or a twist, but we like it. Just sayin.

The Vampire Diaries, Everything on the show - This show is just one good plot point and plot twist after another. We can’t even count the times we’ve gasped while watching this show. At least once per episode. An episode that stands out for Ern is the one where Stefan tried to stop drinking any blood, hoping that he would die. Lots of young people struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, and this show lightly touched on this subject in this episode in a powerful, touching way. Stefan’s final decision to fight and keep trying sent out messages to teens that this was the strongest decision he could have made for himself and his loved ones. Message episodes can get heavy-handed and usually makes our eyes roll, but this one toed the line between profound and preachy perfectly. This is the episode in which the show garnered Ern’s respect. Leeard loved the season one finale and the season two premiere, as well as the most recent episode. Actually, Leeard is obsessed with every episode of this show, haha.

The Office, Jim and Pam’s budding romance - Obviously the best plot on this show was the early Jim/Pam dynamic. Roy treated Pam like crud, and Jim treated her with respect and affection, providing a contrast that was meaningful, funny, and edifying of nice guys everywhere. Honorable mention - Dwight and Angela, Holly and Michael.

The United States of Tara, The appearance of the feral alter, Gimmee - Gimmee is horrific and hilarious at the same time. It really shows how out-of-control and serious Tara’s mental illness is. When we first saw it, we muttered, “What the hell?” It’s a shadow of what must be a hideous and frightening past. We are still watching this show because we wonder what sort of events could have created something as weird as Gimmee?

South Park, The Kyle/Cartman relationship - The greatest part of this show, for us, is seeing these two war against each other season after season. These two are foils, and their hatred for each other combined with some sort of obligatory friendship always entertains. For Leeard, the best single episode plot twist HAS to be when Cartman fed Scott Tenorman his parents. Looking back, it's pretty predictable, but MAN was it shocking the first time.

Grey’s Anatomy, the Addison/Derek/Meredith triangle - No triangle on this show will ever rival this one. It gave the show a core issue that everyone was invested in. It was good because we loved both women. Addison was cool! Her relationship was doomed, but we were sad to see her hurt. And yet… Honorable mention - The first half of the Hunt/Cristina relationship. Watching them fall in love in season five was riveting. We had the choking, the way they didn’t fall immediately into bed together, and the way it softened Cristina and showed us another side of her. Sandra Oh rocked this plotline, and we think it overshadowed the disaster that was the Dead Denny season five plotline (no mean feat).

There are so many more. Give us yours?

Life Unexpected - Camp Grounded recap/review

In this episode, Ryan skipped marriage counseling and sparred with Cate. The main issues of their relationship come up. It seems that they got married for the wrong reasons. Cate married him because he was “the perfect guy” and “better than her.” And Ryan pretended to be that guy so that Cate would marry him. Ouch. To be fair, he managed to convince us too. He was almost too perfect in the first season. At the end of the hour, Ryan and Cate were both committed to fighting for their relationship, which is nice, but we think just about everyone is ready for Cate and Baze to be together. Alas, it probably won’t happen this season.

Baze grew closer to his boss, and they went on their first official “date.” The whole gang went on a school-related camping trip, because all of the adults in Lux’s life decided to chaperone. When does this ever happen in real life? Answer: never. Cate (predictably) ended up falling from a rope swing into a mud pit, Lux failed to bond with her peers, and it turns out, Lux can’t swim. We thought it was pretty funny when Baze and Ryan shared a tent and woke up cuddling, but this is a gag we’ve seen on TV before. Lux’s friend Tasha chastised Lux after seeing her getting physical with her teacher, Eric. The way Tasha sees it, she and Lux have an opportunity to live and fit in like normal teens. We think that, considering how pretty both Tasha and Lux are, neither would have that much trouble fitting in, but whatever. It’s not like this show is super realistic. We don’t know if you’ve seen lots of pictures of foster kids, but they aren’t usually drop-dead gorgeous, or they would have gotten adopted. Harsh, but true.

Confession: We are loving the Lux/Eric relationship. They have chemistry, he appreciates her, and there’s nothing like a love that’s a little forbidden, right? Sure, it’s a little creepy because, in real life, these sorts of flings are toxic. But on this show, we’re rooting for it. Are we wrong?

A few problems: Predictability, slow pacing, and a weak season two story arc. We know that the writers promised that there is one, but we don’t see it. If it’s there, we aren’t super invested. It seems to be 1) Baze grows up and works on his friendship with Cate, 2) Cate and Ryan on the rocks, and 3) Lux and Eric. The third one is slightly interesting, but the first two are not. They seem like they should be subplots and subtle elements rather than main plots.

The writers also seem to be focusing on creating good episodes when they should really be more focused on making good scenes. If they went scene by scene, making each scene either funny, touching, or intense, the viewer could enjoy the whole show more as he or she watches it, rather than looking back on the finished product a day later. Gilmore Girls and Grey’s Anatomy are great examples of shows that pay special attention to making each scene entertaining as a stand-alone product. Alfred Hitchcock is also an example of someone who knew that this is important. Also, we don’t think the show is handling Cate well. We need to see more of the warm, maternal Cate who made Lux that cool bedroom in season one. We are able to handle her shrewish nature better if we see how good of a mother she can actually be. For now, they should change the name of this show to “Cate ruins everyone’s lives.” It’s doubtful that this show will get picked up next year, so we just want it to go out as strong as it started, and that’s a possibility.

This wasn’t the greatest episode of this show, but it was eventful, so it gets a B-.

No Back Nine Order for Life Unexpected, The New Show Rumored to Replace It

The CW has apparently decided not to pick up any more episodes of Life Unexpected. While it hasn't been officially cancelled (yet), this really isn't a good sign. We probably won't know the fate of the show until their fall lineup is announced in a few months. One of us is thrilled (the show hasn't been good since the pilot) and the other is unsurprised. This show's second season hasn't been nearly as touching or intense as the first season. It has had a meandering, dull feel to it, with no clever writing to make up for that. One blogger loves the whole first season, not just the pilot, but the only episode of second season that was decent was the premiere.

In an interview, creator Liz Tigelaar, wanted to make it clear to fans that the CW’s failure to order a back nine for season two is different from a cancellation. It is still possible that, after this season’s 13 episodes, there could be a season three. Watch this blog for news of the CW’s official 2011-2012 lineup, which should be announced in May.

Liz also told fans, “Each season has had an arc to it—like the first seasons starting with a proposal and ending with a wedding—and this season will have an arc to it as well. The stories that we started in the premiere will resolve in episode 13.” Liz said that they have an ending that feels final, so that if episode 13 is the series finale and there is no third season, fans will still get some closure.

So, in short, it’s not dead yet, but there isn’t a great deal of hope. We will go down with this sinking ship by providing weekly recap/reviews. Hopefully they will spark reader interest in the show. It's a sweet show, overall, and there is potential for it to be as good as it was in the pilot.

Rumors are circulating that the replacement show will be Secret Circle, which would be a new show about witches. It is based on a series written by the same person who brought us The Vampire Diaries. Ok, if the CW takes away LUX and replaces it with something like The Vampire Diaries, neither of us are going to be that sad...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How I Met Your Mother - Canning Randy recap/review

Ted wanted to appear cool in front of his students, but Zoey ruined it by showing up to his class and telling his students that he was destroying that old building. Marshall had trouble firing his assistant, even though the assistant was terrible at his job. When he finally managed to do it, he felt bad and reversed it. But the assistant, Randy, actually wanted to stay fired so that his severance package could help him get started on his own brewery, which he would call “Wharmpess.” We wonder if he knows that the name (which is his last name) sounds like “Warm Puss.” We are sure the writers do. When Marshall heard about Randy’s dream, he re-fired him. Robin continued to be annoyed by her new co-anchor. Robin did a commercial to boost her own popularity, but it turned out to be an ad for adult diapers, and it ran for seven years, according to future Ted. Barney made a commercial for his employer to make the company look more warm and fuzzy.

This episode just wasn’t that funny, Barney was hardly in it, and we think we are going to forget it very soon. Too bad, because the last couple of episodes of this show were great. We liked the Godfather reference in Lily's kindergarten classroom, but let's face it, that reference is overdone. We saw it in Rugrats, for heaven's sake.

Episode grade: D+

Gossip Girl - War at the Roses recap/review

At the start of the episode, Serena struggled with getting to know Professor Colin platonically. Oh darn. Serena actually has to form a connection to a man before giving herself to him physically. What a novel idea…. We hardly ever get on Serena for her whorish ways, because she's so nice and we love her, but her outfits have been ridiculous lately, and now this "struggle." Ugh. This episode revealed that Colin is Juliet’s cousin and financial benefactor, but he is not in on her plan to take down Serena. In fact, he’s not even aware of Juliet and Ben’s scheme, which includes getting Serena expelled for hooking up with a professor (even though she didn’t). Juliet managed to get a kiss on camera, and who knows how or if she is going to use it. Juliet is getting more interesting now that she has so many conflicting loyalties. She is in league with her brother, owes her cousin big time, and is slightly in love with Nate. She doesn’t seem like a bad person, and we wonder what will happen to her. We think it’s insanely unbelievable that Serena thinks Juliet is her friend after the Hamilton House key debacle, but whatever.

Serena and Nate got together to help Chuck and Blair make a peace treaty. It was a literal legal document. Dan was upset that Jenny couldn’t come for Lily and Rufus’ anniversary because of Chuck and Blair. Dan stole the peace treaty to find out what the secret provision was and use it to start another war between the exes. He figured he could get on Chuck’s good side and secure Jenny a way to come back to NYC. Eric helped him with this plan, but after his conscience got the better of him, Eric dropped out.

Blair turned 20, and her party and Lily and Rufus’ first anniversary party happened on the same night. Lily and Rufus just ended up celebrated their marriage at Blair’s party, so everyone except Vanessa showed up. Dan invited a Swedish musical artist (Robyn) to Blair’s party. Robyn had a copy of Blair singing “Stand By Your Man” in karaoke, drunk. Blair freaked out and blamed Chuck, but the truth about who was responsible came out. It obviously would have gone better for Blair if she had just laughed it off regally, but she is young, wants to appear powerful and in control, and Chuck was there to make her crazy. Plus, we loved seeing that useless Rachel Zoe covered in chocolate. We groaned at the episode’s ending, because Vanessa appeared, briefly. But then, the show made up for it by having Chuck and Blair rescind the peace treaty and start expressing their hatred for one another. This ended it hate sex on top of a piano. Joy! For hate sex, it was supremely adorable, and we grinned from ear to ear. We don’t think they are officially back together yet. Enemies with benefits? However, this is a step in the right direction.

We liked this episode because of all the scheming, the ending, and the fact that it was interesting the whole way through. It also had a lack of Vanessa and Jenny. We think Vanessa just needs to get killed already. Everyone would love it. Question: When did Eleanor Waldorf turn into a good mom? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see more of evil, scheming Dan? We think the show should make Jenny good again and make Dan evil.

Episode grade: A

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Guilty Pleasure Shows

A discussion with a frequent commenter on this blog who watches Private Practice gave us the idea for this post. We all have shows that we watch that are “guilty pleasures.” You can argue that all TV is a guilty pleasure. We don’t, because we think TV is essential to modern life. Some people play music while they get dressed, eat, cool down after a long day, wait for class in a gap between them, put on their makeup, or work out. We watch TV while we do those things.

Ern’s main guilty pleasure show is Intervention. It’s on A&E. Her favorite episode is the one where the girl huffs computer cleaner and has a lot of cats. We challenge you not to laugh when she fights the cops who are trying to separate her from her cats. IT. IS. EPIC. There's also a great spoof of it on an episode of South Park. Ern loves when people get better through the intervention and cannot watch too many of these in a row without getting sad, because some of them don’t get better. But this show is voyeurism of the highest order, and you actually learn something. When you watch the crazies on stupid dating shows or Jersey Shore, you don’t learn the patterns of addiction and enabling and what drives people to ruin their lives. After watching many hours of Intervention, Ern has determined that abuse + shame + drugs = train wreck. All of these people hate themselves and wallow in guilt, and that’s a shame. You have to find some mercy and forgive yourself for your past mistakes and bad moments, or life is going to suck. If everyone watched Intervention, we could kill the world's drug problem. It does not glamorize addiction at all. Mostly, it's really entertaining. Ern also enjoys The Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and she used to watch The Swan, which is a complete disaster, but it was really, really funny

You can see Allison the computer cleaner huffer here, in this video compilation of her "best" moments:

They have a lot of Intervention episodes to watch for free on the A&E Web site. It's pretty much the best show ever.

Leeard loves guilty pleasure shows, and Jersey Shore is one of them. She also enjoys The Real Housewives of New Jersey and American Idol. Ern only watches the performances of American Idol and mutes the rest of it. Leeard also watches Disney channel fare, such as Sonny with a Chance and Hannah Montana. Ern does not watch these shows, but downloads Demi Lovato’s music, because Demi is adorable and has a great singing voice. As she is obviously a sucker for teenage girl television, Leeard also watches The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make it or Break it. She used to watch The Hills, but is thankful it is off the air. Leeard doesn't like people to know she watches The Bachelor(ette). She knows it's awful television, but she can't resist. She also watches Big Brother, and is completely without defense. There's no good reason to watch that show, but she does anyway. Leeard is realizing that she has quite a few more guilty pleasure shows than does Ern.

So what are the shows you watch that are just complete junk?

The Vampire Diaries - Masquerade recap/review

We say this every week, and we mean this every week: If you're not watching this show, we feel bad for you. Don't let the fact that it's on the CW fool you - The Vampire Diaries is honestly one of the best shows on tv right now.

We start off with Caroline, Damon, and Stefan in the Salvatore's house, with Caroline telling the boys about her run-in with Katherine (who still hasn't perfected the Elena-look - we think it's mainly the hair, Katherine). Apparently Katherine wants the moonstone. Tonight. Or she'll "make the town rain blood". Damon and Stefan are supposed to give Katherine the moonstone at the Masquerade Ball tonight, presumably because she wants it to be in a public place. Caroline, nice little baby vamp that she is, wants to just give Katherine what she the moonstone. Damon, however, has other plans: "I'm going to go to the Masquerade Ball, and I'm going to kill her". It has only been a few days since he's murdered someone. Stefan, of course, nixes that plan: "You're not going to kill her. Because I am." Whoever kills Katherine, we sure can't wait to see it.

Aunt Jenna is released from the hospital, after she is told she walked into a knife. We're with Aunt Jenna on this one, who does that? Someone probably should've thought that cover story through a little better. As Katherine's minions Aunt Jenna and Matt sit on the couch, Elena and Jeremy have a little pow-wow in the kitchen. Jeremy thinks they should punish Katherine for this, while Elena thinks they can let it go, as long as it keeps people safe. While we definitely think Katherine should (and will) be punished for everything she's ever done, we agree with Elena. The Gilberts have no supernatural powers (that the audience is aware of), so they shouldn't try to take on Katherine, at least not by themselves. Elena lets Jeremy in on why Jenna stabbed herself, saying it won't happen again because she broke up with Stefan, so Katherine won. Oh Elena, if only it were that easy. Over at Katherine's Bed & Breakfast, we find out that Katherine has a witch of her own. This should be a nice development. Katherine invites Not Bonnie to be her date to the Masquerade Ball.

Actual Bonnie arrives at the Salvatore mansion, grimoire in hand. When Jeremy enters right behind her, she looks at Stefan for an explanation. His response? "We're going to kill Katherine". Of course you are. And then a rainbow is going to shoot out of your butt and everyone will get a pet unicorn. It's unlikely, is what we're saying. Anyhoo, Alaric is showing the gang (sans Elena) all of his fun vampire-killing toys. Damon's face in this scene is priceless; it really looks like he's thinking Alaric is having too much fun talking about killing vampires.

Back in Katherine's room, she's straightening her hair to attempt to look more like Elena. We're glad you listened to our advice, Kat. Not Bonnie (whose name is apparently Lucy) thinks it's dangerous to impersonate Elena in front of the whole town, but Katherine doesn't care - she just wants the moonstone. And we finally come to the reason Katherine called for Lucy: Katherine wants her to use the moonstone to lift the curse. Honestly, we thought Mason was just being lovestruck when he said that was Katherine's plan. It's almost a bigger shock to us that she is, in fact, planning on lifting the werewolf curse. We think that the people hunting her are werewolves. That's just an obvious theory for you all.

Elena invites Matt to stay and hang out, but he's going to the Masquerade Ball. There's a mysterious something he has to do, and because she's a smart cookie, Elena looks wary at that response. Matt comforts Elena about her relationship with Stefan, and we melt a little. Their friendship, now that it's past him still being in love with her (we think), is awesome. We love healthy, platonic relationships with the opposite sex.

Katherine's hunting party is having one last discussion before going to kill her, to determine whether or not everyone is still in. Caroline, who is rapidly becoming one of our favorite characters on this show, has the best response: "She killed me. Fair is fair." Everyone is still in agreement, but Bonnie wants to make sure that no one else will get hurt. Which, of course, means that someone else is going to get hurt.

At the Masquerade Ball (which looks pretty freaking cool), Tyler and his mom are talking about Mason and Papa Lockwood. They have a nice little heart-to-heart about how Tyler shouldn't feel alone. Katherine and Lucy enter the party, and Matt immediately thinks she's Elena. She tells him he looks hot in a suit (which doesn't really further the plot, but we thought it should be mentioned, because he really does). Katherine compels Matt to remember his job and we are reminded that she's evil. Stefan and Damon are outside, looking for Katherine. Damon says that despite his 145 years spent loving her, he won't hesitate to kill Katherine. His eyes, however, look worried.

Those two random girls are back, and dancing for/with Matt and Tyler. Matt's working on getting Tyler drunk. Jeremy and Bonnie sneak upstairs, to get a room ready for trapping Katherine and to provide some exposition about the Gilberts and Bonnie's grimoire. Thanks, guys! We do learn that Bonnie apparently doesn't like being a witch, which we question, as it always seems like she enjoys causing aneurysms in Damon's brain. Bonnie has noticed a pattern, though, and doesn't want to be the next Bennett witch to die.

When she finds out her brother is at the Masquerade Ball, Elena asks Alaric about why Jeremy has suddenly developed an interest in town functions and, when he becomes evasive, she calls his bluff by threatening to go to the party. Without mentioning the Katherine plan, Alaric tells her that Stefan is at the party, too. Elena is too smart for that, and knows Stefan only ever went to those events for her. We love how smart this heroine is. Alaric tells her to let it go.

Bonnie has finished preparing the room, so she and Jeremy go off to look for Damon and Stefan. Before they can do that, Bonnie somehow feels Lucy's presence. Lucy obviously knows who Bonnie is, but acts like she knows nothing and gets away from Bonnie as quickly as she can. Back outside, Stefan has found Katherine, who threatens to kill someone if he doesn't dance with her. Katherine and Stefan dance and talk about Aunt Jenna and the moonstone. She basically tells him to get it or she'll start killing people. When Stefan tells her she has to get it with him or she doesn't get it at all, Katherine paralyzes and then kills one of the annoying girls. Seriously, even more Team Katherine now.

Elena tells Aunt Jenna and Alaric that she's going to bed, but we see her swipe the keys, and we know where she's heading. And speaking of the Masquerade Ball, Damon and Stefan are discussing Katherine and her most recent murder. We shouldn't need to tell you which one thinks of it as "collateral damage" and which one is actively freaking out about it. Stefan now wants to back out of the kill Katherine plan, but Damon says he's got his back. Awwww. Jeremy is outside with Bonnie, asking her questions about magic. We're with Jeremy, a spell for acing any test would be one of the first we'd want to learn. Jeremy picks up on the same flirty vibe we've noticed all episode and asks Bonnie to dance, but she turns him down. Luckily for Jeremy, he gets a text from Damon saying it's time. Oh boy.

Lucy finds Katherine and lectures her for not mentioning Bonnie. No one was supposed to know about Lucy's involvement but now, thanks to Bonnie and her witchy sense, someone does. Katherine threatens Lucy, but is interrupted by Jeremy, who "mistakenly" thinks Katherine is Elena. He's actually there to tell her Damon and Stefan have the moonstone and want to meet her somewhere. Jeremy tells Katherine he's not scared of her, but is obviously a little shaken when she reminds him of what she did to Uncle John. After Katherine goes to meet the Salvatores, Jeremy runs into his actual sister, who oddly enough doesn't seem pleased.

Caroline sees Matt, Tyler, and the not dead annoying girl go upstairs, and shares a moment with Matt. She then gets a text from Jeremy saying it's her turn. He does not mention that it's her turn to get shoved into a wall by Katherine. She wants Caroline to tell her what's up with the Salvatore boys and why they're luring her out to the lake. We didn't like Caroline telling Katherine that Damon and Stefan plan on killing her and that Bonnie has the moonstone, until we realized it's probably part of the plan.

Jeremy and Bonnie are explaining the plan to Elena, who doesn't get the logic behind killing Katherine at the party. Elena doesn't want them to do this for her, but Jeremy tells her that Katherine has messed with all of them, and deserves to be stopped. And speaking of, Katherine is dragging Caroline upstairs with her to get the moonstone. When they get to the room, Katherine steps inside, while Caroline manages to not cross the threshold. Caroline is pleased with her acting, but Katherine is obviously not thrilled to be trapped in a room. Stefan and Damon step out of their hiding places, and Damon shoots a stake into her back. However: TWIST! Elena's back starts bleeding! Oh man! Since no one knows about this apparent connection between Elena and Katherine, Stefan and Damon keep staking Katherine. Continuing the tradition of intelligent women on this show, Bonnie realizes the link and tells Jeremy to get Damon and Stefan to stop. Katherine isn't blindsided anymore, though, and starts fighting back, but the boys eventually get the drop on her. Jeremy stops them just in time, as Damon was about to take the kill-shot. Katherine tells them about her witch, and starts hurting herself to hurt Elena. Luckily, Elena has Bonnie, who says that although she can't break the spell, she can try to take some of Elena's pain away. Just as Katherine is about to stake herself in the stomach, probably killing Elena in the process, Damon stops her.

When Jeremy reports back to Bonnie that she was right, she goes off in search of the other witch at the party, who she immediately knows is Lucy. Jeremy takes off his Gilbert protection ring and gives it to Elena, who wants him to keep it. Back up in the vampire room, Katherine and the brothers Salvatore talk about old times. When Stefan won't tell her where the moonstone is, she teases them about how much they both worship Elena. Katherine twists the knife a little more when she mentions how obvious it is that Damon is in love with Elena, too. When she tempts Damon to kiss her, Stefan changes the subject back to werewolves and the moonstone. When Damon "apologizes" for killing Mason, Katherine reminds him that he's not the only wolf in Mystic Falls.

Oh hey, Tyler! He, Matt, and girl that almost caused Tyler's transformation a few weeks ago are upstairs at the party, drinking. They ask about "Amy", but I think they mean dead annoying girl. She's dead, guys. And then it starts. Matt starts to pour alcohol onto the floor and talk about Papa Lockwood, upsetting Tyler. Matt slaps Tyler a few times, and then breaks a picture of Tyler's father. After some more fighting, Caroline's vampire senses pick up on the noise, and she breaks the boys up, by elbowing Matt in the face. We see annoying girl #2 pick up a letter opener and DAMN Katherine really does have a million backup plans! She stabs Tyler in the shoulder, and he slams her down, killing her. We love that the show foreshadowed her death being Tyler's turning. Tyler starts freaking out, while Caroline tries to calm him down.

Katherine and the brothers are still stuck in the room, talking about the moonstone. Stefan FINALLY asks why she needs it back, and we get a glimmer of an even BIGGER bad than Katherine. Awesome. Katherine brings up Lexie (we miss Lexie!) in order to tell Stefan that she's checked in on him over the years. Damon looks like he's about to be physically ill. Katherine mouths "I love you" to Stefan, and now we're about to be physically ill.

Bonnie is following Lucy around the party. They get to a quiet part of a room and discuss what a bad, mean vampire Katherine is. Lucy basically tells Bonnie that if she gives Katherine the moonstone, she'll remove the spell linking Elena and Katherine. Bonnie threatens to hurt Lucy if she doesn't remove it, but Lucy reveals that she's indebted to Katherine. Bonnie touches Lucy and somehow knows she can trust her? We don't really get it, but sure. Lucy wants the moonstone.

Damon is pouring himself a drink and Katherine wants one, too. When he gives her the glass, he shoves her against a wall and tries to stake her. We think someone hasn't been paying attention. Luckily, Stefan holds him back. Lucy walks into the room, tells Katherine she's free to go, and gives her the moonstone. Before she does so, however, she makes Katherine tell her she is no longer indebted. Damon doesn't think that's a good idea, but Lucy hands it over anyway. The second Katherine touches the moonstone, she starts choking and convulsing. Apparently, Lucy placed a curse on the moonstone. Stefan is worried that this is affecting Elena, too, but Lucy knows Bonnie will take care of her. Should've told Lucy about the other Bennett witch, Katherine. And Katherine passes out.

Caroline has brought Mama Lockwood upstairs to show her second dead annoying girl. The Sheriff arrives, and Caroline and Tyler are left alone. Caroline tells him she'll take care of it, because she knows it wasn't Tyler's fault. He doesn't think she understands, but she understands a lot more than he thinks. Bonnie catches up to Lucy outside, and asks where she knows her from. Bonnie says she's felt the same trust feeling before, around family, and Lucy reveals that she and Bonnie are (distant) cousins. When Lucy tells Bonnie that her plan from now on is to stay out of vampire drama (ha good one), Bonnie asks desperately how she's going to do that, because she's sick of the drama as well. Lucy basically tells Bonnie that she can't stop, since she's a good witch. Jeremy comes up behind Bonnie after Lucy leaves and offers her a ride home. When Bonnie jokes about how young Jeremy is, he tells her he isn't a kid anymore. You're telling us. We've been saying that all season! Bonnie accepts his ride (obviously).

Stefan finds Elena and tells her that even though Bonnie took away the pain and she's healing, she should see a doctor in the morning. When he confirms that Katherine's really gone (really?), Stefan leans in for a kiss and is denied by Elena. Even though the threat is gone, Elena thinks she needs to "wake up" and make sure that her loved ones are safe. She needs to feel safe, before she can be with Stefan again. He says he understands and Elena walks off, leaving him pensive. And still cute.

But of course Katherine isn't gone yet. We see her wake up, gasping, in the original vampire tomb. Awesome. She grabs the moonstone and tries to leave but she's trapped. Doubly awesome. Damon comes by to rub some salt in the wound. He tells Katherine she's where she should've been all along, and makes us love him even more by saying that Katherine should know better than to mess with a Bennett witch. When Katherine tells him he should've killed her, he makes the DUH statement of the episode: "Death would be too kind". Truer words, people. He goes to close the tomb, and Katherine makes a last ditch effort to save herself, saying they need her because Elena is in danger. Since Damon is in love with Elena, this news stops him. When she won't give up any more information, Damon continues sealing the tomb. Katherine desperately tells him that Elena is the "doppelganger" and needs to be protected, which is why she hasn't killed her yet. You guys, things just got even more interesting. Damon says he'll protect her and closes the tomb. Katherine screams "you need me!" and falls to the ground, crying. We are freaking out. Damon just walks away.

Elena is walking to her car, talking to Jeremy on the phone. We're on edge, since there's less than a minute remaining and this is The Vampire Diaries. Some extremely creepy person walks into view as she hangs up, and we freak out even more. Elena turns around and is silenced by the creepy figure in some kind of Carnivale mask.

This show is excellent, and we never predicted Katherine to lose a battle this early in the season (even though one of us doesn't think she has actually lost). Very nice.

Episode Grade: A

Sorry this recap was a monster. In all honesty, we did try to keep it as short as possible, but this show is just so action-packed that it's hard not to describe everything that happens.

Boardwalk Empire- Home review/recap

Our wish list for this show:
More whackings
More character development (and not the “he was abused as a child” stuff. Lame ploy for sympathy.)
More intensity
Better dialogue (they’ve got the speeches down though)
Less lovey-dovey (including lesbian love scenes)
More plotting
Less predictability
Quicker pacing (at least for some episodes)
More memorable moments

In this episode of Boardwalk Empire, we saw Nucky and Eli’s mean, old drunk of a father, who was taken to the hospital. Nucky gave the house to a man with a family, and he fixed it up for him. Awww, how nice. But then Nucky just burns it down in the end. We find out through a few flashbacks and a speech to Margaret what Nucky went through as a child.

In Chicago, Jimmy went to a veteran’s hospital to have his leg looked at, because it was aching. He met a veteran with one eye, and he was sufficiently creepy and delivered a nice downer of a monologue. We liked it. Jimmy bought him a night with a ho at the brothel, and the one-eyed man helped Jimmy kill the guy who cut up his favorite ho. Oh yeah, and Angela is gay. That's pretty much all that happened in this episode. A whole hour condensed to two paragraphs. The Jimmy side of the story is more interesting than Nucky's. Why can't this show be about Jimmy?

This episode was alright. Meh. This show is getting more and more disappointing after the first couple of episodes. Where is it going? What does it want to say? Who is the character to which we are supposed to feel connected? This show is getting a somber, self-satisfied tone that we don’t appreciate, and now it’s made Nucky a pitiable victim rather than a tough gangster that we both love and fear. Do we need to get Scorsese back to save this slowly sinking ship? Because it still has a whole load of potential to be our favorite show.

Episode grade: C

Dexter- Everything is Illuminated review/recap

Ok. Halloween weekend is over, so it's time to get cracking on the blog again. We had fun, thanks for asking.
The episode opened with Dexter packing some of his stuff into labeled boxes and talking about how important it is to compartmentalize your life. Harrison said his first words (Die die), and Dexter found a new target to hunt so that he could get back to normal. This guy picked up gay men and then killed them when his fantasies went too far. Dexter was just wrapping the guy in plastic when Lumen called asking for his help. She had shot a man and forgot to think through body disposal. This annoyed us. We weren’t irritated because we dislike Lumen and think she’s a pain. We are irritated that the writers would have the usually smart Lumen make a mistake like this. Why does this show insist on making its female characters so irritating sometimes? We still like Lumen and hope she sticks around to complete her revenge, but after last night, we see how some people are going to start hating her.

Dexter put the guy in the back of his trunk, half-wrapped, and he hoped that the drugs would keep him asleep long enough for him to help Lumen. When he arrived at a warehouse Lumen had chosen to murder in, the body she had shot had moved. Lumen and Dexter tracked him down, arguing over whether he was really one of the men who had hurt Lumen, because she shot him over “a feeling and an odor.” She had been blindfolded during her ordeal. We rolled our eyes, sure that she was crazy and some sort of loose cannon. But she turned out to be right and Dexter snapped the guy’s neck. Someone heard Lumen’s shot and saw her walk into the warehouse, so they called the police. This turned out to be Deb and Masuka. Just then, Dexter’s planned kill woke up and started running, naked and wrapped in plastic. Dexter caught and killed him just before Deb saw him. He planted that body near Lumen’s kill, making it look like some weird sex act gone wrong. Masuka called it “autoerotic mummification.” This was pretty hilarious, especially Deb’s grossed-out face. We love sloppy Dexter and his antics.

Lumen and Dexter fled the scene, meeting up at Dexter and Rita’s old house. There, they bonded, and it looks like Dexter is going to help her get her revenge. Predictable. We are so bored with LaGuerta and Batista. It turns out that their plotline with the bar fight turned into almost nothing. They fought and then made up. Ho hum. We hate them. Deb and Quinn grew closer, but Quinn is still investigating Dexter. Now that Deb opened up to Quinn, we are sure it’s going to end badly, because that’s what always happens when Deb lets herself fall for a guy. In other news, the Santa Muerta baddies are still out there, but Batista picked up a lead: a witness who knows them.

We think lots of people are going to compare this season to season two, because Quinn is like Doakes looking for Dexter, and there is a crazy woman in Dexter’s life who knows who he really is. But we disliked season two because we didn’t like the resolution of those arcs. We feel like, this time, the show can redeem those arcs by having these go in completely different directions. Same set-up, new endings. Because the season two endings were cop-outs (Doakes and Lila just died), and it was anti-climactic. Surely the show knows that it can’t do the same thing this time and we will get to see something new and interesting.

There were some intense and funny moments in this episode that saved it, but this season needs to pick up if it wants to come near to last season’s excellence. This episode’s excitement came from its zany situations and the crumbling life Dexter has, rather than from the overall story of the season.

Episode grade: B-